LAHORE - Though the political activities for the local bodies’ polls will gain momentum after the completion of delimitation process but the mainstream political forces in Punjab have launched preliminary preparations for the LB polls to be held in September.

The political alignments of various players in the local elections cannot be stated with certainty at this stage; however informal chat with leaders of mainstream political parties suggested that the Jamaat-e-Islami –a coalition partner of the PTI in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – will not forge alliance with it in Punjab and keep open all its options.

The PML-Q, which experienced the real local governance system during the Musharraf-led regime, desires to form electoral alliances.

The PTI is considering itself as a key opposition party in Punjab and does not seem in the mood of forging electoral alliances or making seat adjustments. It is looking to challenge its opponent PML-N without any support.

The PML-N, which is ruling the largest province, will also opt for solo flight in the LB polls except some of the areas.

The PPP, which has lost most of its political ground in Punjab, looks confused concerning the upcoming LB elections.

When contacted, PTI senior leader Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed told this correspondent that committees comprising provincial assembly constituency limits were being formed to pick suitable candidates for the LB polls.

When asked about the ticket awarding process and complaints against the same, he informed that the district committees would prepare the lists of suitable candidates, while the district leadership concerned would decide the tickets. Any complaint in this regard would also be dealt by the same committees. He said the pace of local elections’ preparations would be accelerated after the delimitation process that is expected to be completed after Eidul Fitr.

JI senior leader Ameerul Azeem said that his party’s district organisations have been directed to prepare list for suitable candidates, while the provincial organisation has undertaken marathon tours of various districts. At the same, the party has submitted complaints regarding the delimitations in some districts, he added.

When asked about the ticket awarding process, the JI leader informed that local leadership have been mandated in this regard and they could also make electoral coalition with parties and local groups of their choice according to the local political needs. About forging alliance with the PTI and other opposition parties only, he said it would not be possible and any decision in this connection would be the prerogative of local party leadership while provincial leadership would play a supervisory role only.

Amir Sultan Cheema, PML-Q leader sharing his party position concerning the local polls informed that a meeting was held under the leadership of Punjab president, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi which focused on forging alliance with opposition forces to get share in the upcoming local elections. He added the provincial leadership has directed the district leadership to prepare lists of suitable candidates.

Amir also informed the local leadership has been directed not to make any seat adjustment or local electoral alliance without the prior approval of the provincial leadership.

A spokesman of the ruling party informing about his party position in this regard, said that a provincial committee to oversee the local elections preparations has been formed under the command of Rana Sanaullah.

He added that six-member district committee would overall steer the process of preparations including lists of suitable candidates and others under the supervision of concerned district’s MNA and MPAs.

Manzoor Wattoo, PPP senior leader, when contacted said that real preparations would be started after the completion of delimitation process; however the district leadership has been directed to prepare preliminary lists of the candidates aspiring for party tickets.

About local electoral alliance with opposition parties and seat adjustments, he said that the party hasn’t pondered upon this matter as yet.